In 2020, journalists were detained in Belarus 479 times. Nine media representatives are now in a pre-trial detention centre for criminal cases. Such statistics are presented by the NGO Belarusian Association of Journalists.
According to the BAJ, journalists in Belarus were detained 479 times this year. 97 journalists have served administrative arrests. They spent 1,200 days behind bars. The total amount of fines imposed on journalists and media amounted to BYN 59,891, which is about $23,286 or €19,000. 15 media representatives are currently under criminal investigation. Nine of them are in custody.
These are Katerina Borisevich (TUT.BY), Belsat journalists Yekaterina Andreeva and Daria Chultsova. Among the detainees are Press Club Belarus founder Yulia Slutskaya, Press Club Program Director Alla Sharko, Press Club Director Sergei Olshevsky and Program Director of the Press Club Academy Sergei Yakupov, and member of the Coordination Council Ksenia Lutskina.
62 journalists were physically abused by the actions of security forces. Four newspapers were forced to suspend their publication. Belarusian authorities have restricted access to more than 50 socio-political and media websites. Recall that earlier Reporters Without Borders described Belarus as Europe’s most dangerous country for journalists and crackdown on the media unprecedented.
“Around 370 [journalists] have been arrested since 9 August just for doing their job and eight are still being held. As the data gathered by RSF and its local partner, the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), shows, the police deliberately use violence against reporters covering demonstrations with the clear aim of gagging the media and making the protests ‘disappear’,” the report reads.